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Three priorities for the vegetable garden in March

It seems that by March everyone is ready for spring, and that also applies to the garden. To help prepare your vegetable patch for the warmer months that are now well on the way, there’s plenty to do in the garden or allotment this month before the season of al fresco eating arrives.

Sowing the seeds

Progress this month partly depends on whether the ground is really wet or not. If not, you can warm the ground before planting using fleece or cloches, as a higher temperature will help seed to germinate. Once the ground is ready, vegetables such as cabbage, beans, spinach, carrots, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, cauliflower, beetroot and lettuce can be sown.

1. Shallots

Shallot sets may be planted during March, and onions toward the end of the month when the weather has started to warm up.

2. Potatoes

Early varieties of seed potatoes can be sown in trays, well away from frost to allow the formation of shoots, while main cropping types are best left until April.

3. Vegetable beds

As well as planting, some jobs concerning the preparation of beds can be completed in March. Vegetable beds should be weeded, then green manure from the winter season can be dug in while plant stems remain soft, or a layer of well-rotted manure or compost could be added instead once the soil is ready. Prepared soil can then be covered with black plastic sheeting to retain warmth and avoid the absorption of too much moisture.

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